Bruins’ Season Epitaph

Well that didn’t go according to The Plan. Your Boston Bruins lost a heartbreaker in OT in Game 7 to the Florida Panthers. And yes, it’s taken me over a week (and the near conclusion of another round of the playoffs) to get to a “good headspace”. We talked about being Sad Boys in the immediate aftermath on the podcast, which you can listen to here. Only in hockey is this type of chaos “enjoyed” and even expected. A wild card team knocking off the President’s trophy winning team? Yep, seen it before. An #8 seed steamrolling their way to a Stanley Cup? Yep. Upsets happen in all sports, but not with the frequency that they do in hockey.

This team was all in. I mean ALL THE WAY IN. Huge trade deadline acquisitions. A phenomenal (some would say record setting) regular season. A goalie rotation that brought back memories of Andy Moog and Reggie Lemelin. Both Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci came walking back through that door and never missed a beat. Don Sweeney showed off his Harvard smahts at the trade deadline by going out and getting some absolute weapons for the squad. Everything was coming up Black and Gold. Until it wasn’t.

You want to talk about the face of US Hockey? Sure, let’s dive in. A lot of people have anointed Auston Matthews as the best US born player in the league. Some in the swampland of Jersey have put that mantle on Jack Hughes. For my money, neither of those two can carry the jockstrap of one Matthew Tkachuk (and for that matter, they can’t carry baby bro Brady’s either). You want to talk about a catalyst of chaos, an absolute prick to play against who can back it up anyway you want: That’s the Rat King of Southern Florida. Oh yeah, and he’s got one of the biggest assholes in hockey on his line: Sam Bennett. These 2 dickheads ran roughshod over the Bruins and are currently making the Leafs their personal chew toys. And when I call them pricks and assholes, I say that will all the love in my heart because those 2 (along with Brandon Montour and Radko Gudas) can play for Team Brownie any day of the week.

But let’s get back to the Bruins. This team clicked on all cylinders for an entire season and that shouldn’t be discounted or forgotten. Yes, I know that “here in the City of Champions we count rings”, with all due respect please shut the fuck up. Hockey is it’s own beast and it’s the hardest trophy to win in all of professional sports. You want to disagree? That’s fine, get your own blog and spout your nonsense there.  

Am I disappointed? Absolutely. Am I burning my Bruins jersey and calling them bums? No, who do you think I am? A Canucks fan? Please.

The ailments will slowly trickle out regarding the team.  We already know that Patrice Bergeron was playing with a herniated disc in his back. Read that again Chumley. Bergy was playing NHL PLAYOFF HOCKEY WITH A HERNIATED DISC IN HIS BACK. Most of you can’t get your foot through your undies without pulling a hammy. David Pastrnak had a hurt shoulder and Linus Ullmark was playing through something for most of the series. They battled and came up short. No one was taking shifts off, let alone games. They hung it all on the line and battled to OT in Game 7. Yes it stings, yes it’s frustrating, but you’re not on the team so zip it with your shoulda woulda couldas when it comes to the players.

HC Jim Montgomery came out after the player exit interviews and admitted that he should have started a healthy Jeremy Swayman for game 5. Thank you Monty. Way to step up there and admit a mistake. He clearly listens to the podcast as I said the same thing on the Sad Boys episode (to be fair, I also gave him credit for stepping up on The Rebound Boys episode which you can find here).

So where does that leave us? Is the championship window closed? Will the Bruins be able to compete next year? The list of UFAs and RFAs combined with the uncertainty over Krejci and Bergeron will make things “challenging” for the front office for sure. Sweeney came out and said that due to “cap constraints” that the makeup of the team will be different next year. Nick Foligno, Tyler Bertuzzi, Tomas Nosek, Garnet Hathaway, Chris Wagner, Dmitry Orlov and Connor Clifton are all UFA. Jeremy Swayman and Trent Frederic are RFA. The Bruins only have 4 draft picks in the upcoming draft: a 3rd, a 4th, a 6th and a 7th but do have some up and coming prospects in Providence. What would your priority be Dear Reader? Who stays and who goes?

There’s a lot of choices above. You can vote multiple times as we all know Sweeney and the Bruins Brass all pay attention to my posts. Is it all doom and gloom? Not right now, but if Krejci and Bergeron both hang them up, the Bruins will have some players slotted higher than maybe they should be at this point in their careers. There are moves to be made for sure, and based on his performance at the trade deadline, I’ll give Sweeney my trust at this point (actually based on his draft record, it might not be a bad thing he doesn’t have early round picks).

I’m not ready to say goodbye to this team yet. They were lovable and they stuck up for each other the whole way through and they deserved better for sure. And I’m def not ready to say goodbye to Bergeron no matter what it looked like when he was leaving the ice…

We’ll save that for another gloomier day when #37 says goodbye. For now, enjoy stress-free playoff hockey and listen to our pods and subscribe to our YouTube page. If the Panthers can get it done vs. TOR (hopefully tonight) then I’ll be covering them for the rest of their run. I mean how could you possibly root for CAR or TOR in the Eastern Conference? At least TBL got bounced too.

You can read more about Brownie in his bio down below or follow him on Twitter @Abrow28

Author: Brownie

A legacy that was born on the frozen rivers in Northern Saskatchewan then forged on the ponds of New England. Plays with the heart of a warrior and the soul of a poet; always living by the credo handed down by generations of beer-league beauties that came before him. Skate Hard - Quick Changes - Win the Parking Lot.

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